At the time of writing this, I’m not okay. At least by any definition of ‘okay’ I typically associate with the concept. Anxiety has run in my family for generations, and lately any thoughts about the future have all but crippled my ability to keep putting one foot in front of another.
Life is by no means falling apart, and in fact, almost everything I hoped for last year is bearing some kind of fruit in our current 365 day cycle. David. Tyrants and Traitors is getting published. My church is leaving a measurable impact in our community. Even my love life is in a good rhythm. Still, the a dark cloud of anxiety hovers around my head as I wait for the other shoe to drop.
And guess what? It’s okay that I’m not okay. Often times when Christians see a neighbor or friend in distress, whether it be a physical illness, depression, or any number of other less than enjoyable realities, we rush in to fix the problem. “Josh, I heard through the grapevine you’re struggling with anxiety. Have you read Matthew 6 lately? Jesus said some great stuff about worrying that might help you out.” We treat the Bible as a magical incantation book, and our job is to find the right spell to cure whatever currently afflicts us.
And while I’m certainly not against speaking encouragement into difficult situations ( Matthew 6 really does has some good stuff on anxiety), sometimes it’s just not the right time for things to get ‘fixed.’ And that’s okay too. One of the coolest things about my faith journey is that I’m no longer defined by my pain, my weaknesses, my failures, or my fears.
My identity comes as a child of God, and that reality, that truth, is not affected in the least by my battles with anxiety, depression, or any other cognitive aliment found in the DSM-5 Manual. So I took one on the chin, this too shall pass, and in the meantime, God isn’t sitting in heaven shaking his head in disappointment. He’s got his hand out, waiting for when I get back up, ready to go another round in this crazy carousel we call life.
God’s okay with that.